The passion for tennis knows no age and Manuel Villanueva from Alicante can attest to this at 90 years old. While the insatiable Rafa Nadal fights in Paris to conquer another Roland Garros, the Spanish Veterans Championships are being held at his academy in Manacor and this year the novelty has been the premiere of the 90 category, in which Villanueva finished runner-up.
Belonging to the Torrevieja Tennis Club, this player born in 1932 continues to train "three or four times a week." "I've slowed down, before I practically spent the day at the club," explains the veteran born in the Alicante town of Bigastro.
Villanueva was proclaimed champion of Spain 80 in 2012 and now he is enjoying his stay at the Rafa Nadal Academy like a child.
“This is incredible, the facilities are wonderful and they are treating us great. We also watch Nadal's matches on giant screens and after the show against Djokovic I think he is going to win Roland Garros again », affirms the man from Alicante.
The veteran player assures that his joints "are perfectly" since he only plays on clay and the hard court he hasn't even set foot on for many years. "I started playing late, when I was 50 years old, so practically all the championships I've played have been for veterans," he recalls.
Villanueva hasn't thought of giving up his racket and he already has the 1990 Spanish Championship next year in mind. «The experience is magnificent. I lost the final 6-2, 6-4 but I am very happy, wanting to repeat », affirms this man from Alicante who stands out for his elegance and technique on the court.